Ever since I took my first out of country trip almost 10 years ago, people have always asked me how I afford to travel so often. Not many knew that my first few times traveling out of the country were with groups. It was not until recently that I traveled outside the U.S. on my own. I am here to let you know that travel can be affordable! You don’t have to go broke and you don’t have to wait until you are older or your kids are older. Here are tips and websites to check out for cheap domestic and international travels:
Tip Number 1: Find glitch fares and know when to get to good deals
For travelers, booking a flight is all a game and it's all about timing. These websites are good for keeping an eye on certain flight deals from certain departure locations without needing to check the website all hours of every day. Your best option, have the locations you are interested in sent directly to your email.
What I like about Hopper is the descriptive report it provides when searching for a roundtrip flight. It includes what the flight price ranges look like for the next few months, suggested airports, and the airlines with the lowest fares. In addition, the website showcases various domestic deals on flights from your location or a departing location of choice.
The Flight Deal and Fare Deal Alert go hand in hand. Flight Deal is the original blog, which currently aims to show you samples of how to book flights, taking advantage of glitch fares, while Fare Deal Alert is basically the website you need to subscribe to in order to be alerted of all the good fares to various parts of the world. If you follow their social media pages, you will come across the deals quicker compared to subscribing via email.
What I love about these websites is it gives you the option to see what fares look like for an entire month. Say, for example you have flexible dates to travel, you can begin your search by choosing your departing locations and nearby airports, followed by choosing your return location but be sure to check that you want to search for the whole month or a month later in order to see the flights for all the dates, that way you can compare for yourself which days are best to depart (always early week).
Tip Number 2: Use airline reward points.
Just like any other point system, the more you use, the more points you acquire for other things in the future. The points you rack up from each stay or even by simply using your reward points can add up to result in a free or discounted trip for you. The three airline reward point systems that I use are:
Tip Number 3: Use rewards credit cards.
Credit cards are doing better about providing more options for those with various credit score ranges. It is a growing trend to use reward cards a lot more for travel. The trick is that they have high annual fees after the first year, which is usually is waived. Reward cards are not for everyone, especially if you are rebuilding or just starting out building your credit. Here are the things to look out for:
If you have the income and credit score for it, go for it. You have to have a job and be at least in the 600’s credit/FICO Score range.
If you spend a lot, this may be a good card for you. Some cards offer dining points, others offer points for gas and groceries. You can earn a certain amount of points for spending a certain amount of money in your first three months of owning the card.
If you don’t spend a lot, Use it for your small bills to build up points. Use it for your small purchases or subscriptions such as your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
If you utilize one or two or all of these tips, you will be a well equipped traveler in no time!
P.S. Always remember to clear out or refresh your cookies on your browser for the best deals before searching.